The annual conference of the Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI), the German Earth Charter Affiliate that coordinates the Earth Charter activities in Germany, has always been a place to soak in new motivation for continuing to take small steps towards peace, justice, sustainable living, in the name of ecumene. This is the place where everyone from this diverse and widely scattered network in Germany comes together face to face and celebrates the will to make a change.
This year the conference topic was “Let’s get going for a better world: together with the Earth Charter – inter-religious, intercultural and creative!”
EOWI was very happy that to have Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Earth Charter Commissioner, take part in this conference. He can be called a “father” of the Earth Charter, as he participated very actively in the drafting process. He is also a wonderful speaker, full of compassion and he turned out to be the perfect motivator at this meeting. He related that it was compassion that saved his live as a Jewish baby in Germany during the second World War and he gave examples for many ways how compassion can enable inter-religious alliances for the sake of sustaining the lives of the poorest people. One of the conference’s topics was “Water as a Human Right”. Rabbi Soetendorp spoke about plans for water supply and sanitation and, spontaneously, participicians of the conference donated money in order to get the water project going.
On the second day of the conference there were various workshops. Participants searched for the “great transformer” by playing theater games, discussed how to communicate issues of sustainability in a society of diversity and migration, painted “radical” pictures of a radical change, exchanged ideas about inter-religious alliances for sustainability, and talked about strategies.
In the end all participants had renewed hope to go on with their initiatives while still acknowledging the long way to bring the Earth Charter down to earth.
More information: www.erdcharta.de
The picture above shows Bernadette Ackva, Member of new-founded local Earth Charter Group “Taunus”, handing over signatures/endorsements for the Earth Charter via Rabbi Soetendorp to Anja Becker, Executive Director EOWI.